Okay, this isn’t my hot cash game tip…. but one I recently read in an article by the excellent Victoria Coren, titled; How Do You Measure a Poker Player? Here’s Victoria’s tip:
A great cash player gives the impression of playing far more loosely than he really does.
This might seem very obvious, but the greatest words of wisdom usually are. I couldn’t agree more with Victoria’s hot tip. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot more recently – my table image in live cash games.
When you play poker online you can sit for hours playing like a rock – and since players come and go with such frequency your table image doesn’t really matter too much. Of course online poker is a game of stats these days, and many people will be tracking your hand history – and the stats don’t usually lie. But when it comes to live poker you can foster an image of a loose aggressive, and there are no HUDs to counter the story you’re projecting.
In the past I would sit down at a cash game, one where I have no history with the players, and just patiently wait for the right cards. I might have folding everything for a good few laps before there was anything playable. By that time I was probably labelled as a rock. So when I did pick up a monster, guess what? Yeah that’s right…. no action. It’s amazing how quickly the other players will form an image of you as a player. That’s why now I take a different approach. I still play a very solid game, but I make a point of playing a few hands soon after sitting down – ideally the very first hand. It doesn’t have to mean big bets or even showing a bluff – in fact I prefer not to show my cards at all and keep my opponents guessing.
I find this new approach helps to dispel the notion that I might be a rock, which is what I am really. That first impression will last a long time – and can pay dividends. Now I just need to figure out if a flush beats a straight 🙂